Friday, September 22

Without a day of rest, Macron and his rivals begin the electoral battle of the legislative elections

  • The French president, according to forecasts, will name his new prime minister in early May

  • The left and the extreme right aspire to achieve an alternative majority in the National Assembly

Less than 24 hours of rest and grace period for Emmanuel Macron. After the electoral hangover of the re-election of the president, with 58.54% of the votes, France woke up this morning with an eye on the legislative elections on June 12 and 19.

Since the establishment in 2002 of a five-year mandate for the head of state, these parliamentary elections have become a pure Procedure for the winning party in the presidential elections. However, the extreme right Marine LePen (defeated on Sunday, but with more than 40% of the support) and the left led by Jean-Luc Mélenchon (socioecologist) want to break this logic. That is, to impose an alternative majority in the National Assembly on the centrist leader, and therefore a government of a different nature, which in France is called cohabitation. These parliamentary elections have already been baptized as “the third turn”.

The decisions that Macron will make in the coming days will have their sights set on these elections. The Constitutional Council (the French equivalent of the Constitutional Court) will officially announce the final results on Wednesday, although they are already known. Starting on that day and before May 13 — the date on which the current presidential term was due to end — the ceremony of investment of the centrist leader, the fourth president to achieve re-election in the history of the Fifth Republic after Charles de Gaulle, the socialist François Mitterrand and the conservative Jacques Chirac.

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Announcement of a new prime minister

After this act, it is planned the announcement of the new prime minister. Except for a major surprise, it will replace the uncharismatic Jean Castex, at the head of the executive since July 2020. Then the names of the ministers of the first government of the new Macron mandate will be announced. According to speculation in the French press, few of the current ministers will remain in office and new developments are expected.

“The next few years will not be quiet,” Macron said in his sober speech of celebration of his victory from the Campo Marte, from the area of ​​the Eiffel Tower, where he avoided giving the triumphalist image that he was reproached for in the past. He knows that the electoral cycle is not over yet. “We are aware of the context of the country and that there are some fractures to which we must respond”, Labor Minister Elisabeth Borne, who sounds like a prime minister, declared on Monday to the RTL radio station, although these speculations usually fail. French society comes out fractured from these presidential elections. This is reflected in the strong support for Le Pen among workers (67%) and employees (57%) who went to the polls.

Macron himself closely follows the process of appointing the candidates of his coalition —formed by La República en Marcha (his party), but also by the Modem de Francois BayrouHorizons of the former prime minister Edouard Philippe and other small parties—in the 577 constituencies into which the French territory is divided. He is aware of one of the specificities of this second term: French law establishes a maximum of two consecutive terms and in 2027 he will not be able to stand for this reason. The name of his successor will be present throughout the mandate – for the moment, the favorite is Philippe – and could stir up divisions and factions in his parliamentary group.

The “third round” of Mélenchon and Le Pen

Before that, Macron must achieve a parliamentary majority. “I make a call to all of them, from the Social Democracy to the Gaullist (right), including the environmentalists,” he said on April 2 during a rally in Paris about his willingness to join his “grand coalition” between center-right and center-left, new leaders from the Republicans, the Socialist Party and moderate sectors of the greens. After having added between them just 6% of the votes in the first round, the Republican right and the Socialists face these legislative elections with the fear of losing a considerable part of their deputies.

“You can beat Mr. Macron and choose another path,” Mélenchon said on Sunday. The negotiations of the rebellious left with communists and greensand to a lesser extent with the Socialists, are making good progress to present unitary candidacies of the left in June, under the Mélenchonist umbrella of the “Popular Union” and the program of the Future in Common. According to a poll this Monday, which should be taken with tweezers since there is still a month and a half to go before the legislative elections, this alliance of the left could get about 100 deputies (out of a total of 577 seats).

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Related news

The extreme right also wants to surprise in the legislative. However, it is unknown whether Le Pen’s party and that of polemicist Zemmour will run in coalition or separately. The leader of the National Rally (RN) will opt for her re-election as deputy in her constituency in the north of France, which has become her political lab. Despite having obtained 41% of the votes in the second round, he will once again face the stumbling block of the electoral system.

In 2017, after having achieved 33% in the presidential elections, he barely obtained seven deputies. Historically, the legislative elections were not a favorable terrain for Lepenism, but now he wants to break this tradition with the current recomposition of French politics.

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